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Main Reasons to Apply to the PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant
Published19 Sep 2023
From learning how to prepare your work for open calls, to participate in a career-changing initiative, there are many motivations to present your work to our open call for female and non-binary photographers.
Now in its 7th edition, the PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant is known for having recognized the work of great visual practitioners among which Laura El-Tantawy, Sanne De Wilde, Natalie Keyssar, Raphaela Rosella, Ana Vallejo, Myriam Boulos, Fabiola Cedillo, Maria Sturm, and Heba Khamis. Its former editions counted on jurors such Donna Ferrato, Pamela Chen (Instagram), Damarice Amao (Centre Pompidou), Dilys Ng (TIME Magazine), Magdalena Herrera (GEO France), Renee Mussai (Autograph), Alessandra Sanguinetti (Magnum Photo), and River Bullock (MoMA). Quality, credibility, and support are values that we are striving to develop over time, and some of the many good reasons to apply.
1. JOIN THE CONVERSATION / We start from this point every year because it's likely the most relevant. The PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant is not just about the individual prizes. It's about joining a collective conversation and giving your contribution in sharing what female and non-binary contemporary gaze are to an industry historically dominated by the male professionals and their point of view. Every year our open call represents an occasion to showcase women's works and publish related contents to stimulate and renew the debate. We are living a historical transition and every single application matters to support change.
2. LEARN AND BE SELF-CRITICAL / Presenting your work is a great opportunity to see where you are with your work. Is it at an early stage? Think carefully, maybe it’s worth continuing to work on it and apply the next time. Have you been working on it for a while? It might be a good moment to create a first edit, get feedback, and try to secure some funds to bring it ahead. Is it ready to go? Well, just go for it without being afraid of trying. Applying represents an effective way to follow the grant from the beginning to the end, review the shortlisted and awarded projects, read the judges motivations. It's a good occasion to motivate yourself, get inspiration and learn from other applicants' projects. A momento to be self-critical, learn, and improve as a photographer.
3. FUNDING / This grant is not only meant to support you through exhibitions, press and educational opportunities but offer a solid cash prizes that you can invest in the way you consider more proper. Over the years we have seen prize recipients completing a project or starting a new one thanks to the cash money secured. Other were able to publish their work in a photobook or invest the money in education and equipments. The €10,000 cash split among the four top-winners represents a solid base to bring ahead your independent practice, and among the highest funds offered by independent organisations.
4. EXHIBITING / Our team will select another work to be exhibited at PhMuseum Lab, in Bologna, Italy. After Caimi & Piccinni's Güle Güle (September 2020), Maria Lax's Some Kind of Heavenly Fire (June 2021), Synchrodogs' Slightly Altered (October 2021), Sayuri Ichida's Fumiko (May 2022), and Sara Bastai's RAM_4.0 (May 2023) we are keen to discover a new artist to work with. We will cover for the show production and travel expenses. In this was the show will be a great opportunity to discover our gallery, meet our team and most importantly connect with our audience in first person while adding an important milestone for your CV.
5. REPUTATION / Over the past 11 years we have worked hard to stand out among the many photo grants and awards by striving to understand how photographers can benefit from this kind of opportunities. Year after year we have improved our offering and the network of people and industry leaders who follow our platform, which is now considered of the most respected on the international scene. Thanks to the reputation we are building year after year, you can not only trust our grants program but also know that your reputation will strongly benefit from being recognisedwithin a prestigious open call followed by many photographers and industry leaders.
6. CONNECTIONS / This year independent jury comprises professional who work for WIRED in New York - a monthly American magazine, published in print and online editions, that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast; for Paris Photo - probably the most important photography fair; for Les Rencontres D'Arles - one of the leading photography festival in the world; for Autograph - a foundation that champions photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice; for UCCA - China’s leading independent institution of contemporary art. They are industry leaders that will review the submissions over several weeks. Applying represents a straight gateway to get their attention and possibly work with them in the future.
7. EXPOSURE / If the main prize winners get extensive press on international media, many more applicants benefit from having applied. Every year we feature more than 200 photographers on PhMuseum, plus 500 photographers on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. With 700,000 visitors annually and around 180,000 people who follow us on social media, we strive to give exposure to the photographers who are part of PhMuseum and support them in sharing their work with our international audience. Our platform is meant to grant visibility and help you in building an international audience for your work. Our grants program is the main channel through which we discover new projects and the same goes for the many curators, photo editors, gallerists, and publishers who follow our platform. Plus, we now also run a photography festival called PhMuseum Days, with our team's research often starting from our open calls.
8. SUPPORT PHMUSEUM / Our independent team runs an extensive series of free online curated contents such as online exhibitions, articles, and social media features. We also offer free resources including the awards list, the festivals guide, and the stories archive. PhMuseum is the results of a collective effort. When you apply to our open call you contribute in the project development, and tell us that we are on the right path.
9. YOU HAVE TO TRY / It's only with hard work and a continue effort that you can grow as a professional. Getting your work recognised by an important panel of judges is a great motivation to keep developing your practice. We know how much hard work there is behind your projects, and how many talented photographers there are today. Even if sometimes you feel you have tried enough or that you are not ready yet, we recommend you to keep applying, accepting that failure is part of the career of all of us and a constructive way to obtain success in the future. As the hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.
The PhMuseum 2023 Women Photographers Grant is currently open for submissions. Its aim is to empower the work and careers of female and non-binary professionals of all ages and from all countries working in diverse areas of photography. To learn more and apply, visit phmuseum.com/w23. Early Bird Deadline: 21 September, Regular Deadline: 12 October